Struggling to set up SSH

Posted July 14, 2021 163 views
Getting StartedDigitalOcean Droplets

I have been following the SSH tutorial, but it hasn’t been working for me.

I made a public key and I put it into the my droplet on the security panel of Digital Oceans.

I checked in .ssh/authorized_keys and the same public key is indeed there. And yet, I can’t secure the SSH connect such that I can use SCP or SSH without a password. I’ve tried many tutorials and debugging articles about this, and I can’t get copy-ssh-id to function with or without -i with changes in config, etc…

is this a common problem? Any ideas?

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3 answers


What I could suggest is running the SSH command with the -vvv flag so that you could get some more information on why the SSH connection is failing:

ssh -vvv root@your_ip

Also on another note, what SSH client are you currently using?


Hello, @tapinoma

You can make sure that you’re using the droplet’s IP address in the ssh connection in case there is a problem with the hostname’s DNS.

You can also double-check the SSH tutorial.

Use a terminal on a Linux, macOS, or Windows computer to connect to Droplets with SSH.

Use PuTTY on a Windows computer to connect to Droplets with SSH.


Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. This issue was solved.

Three steps seemed particularly useful for the solution:

  1. I generated key again, this time using ssh-keygen -t ed25519 instead of ssh-keygen. Not sure why that made a difference, but I’ll explain difference in a second.

  2. I did not post the “comment” at the end of my public key [user]@[location] into digital oceans storage of keys

These differences seemed small, but after doing this, when I ssh’d it would ask for my key passphrase instead of my user’s password, which seemed to indicate it took to my key. This may have solved my ssh/scp issues

or maybe, it was purely #3, which was silly:

3. I had been trying to SCP into a file for which I was not the owner, I had to A . change the permissions (which I did), or B, SCP to where I am the owner then move with sudo mv [file in current location] [final location] to get it to where I wanted to go. Apparently the server I had got from the marketplace had purposely changed the owner to nobody for the server directories I was trying to work with

Other weird (maybe obvious to most?) things i learned along the way:

  1. When I “copy path” of item on my computer, it comes with quotes, C: and back slashes. for scp path, I need to strip quotes, C, and change back slashes to forward slashes

  2. Obvious in retrospect, but to SCP I need to NOT be ssh'ed on the server but on my local cli